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A Trip to McDonald’s

NEW YORK – JULY 18: A McDonald’s restaurant sign lists calorie counts July 18, 2008 in New York City. New York is now the first city in the country to implement a law forcing chain restaurants to post the calorie count of each food next to the items on their menus. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

For those of you who are not aware of it, I lost about 100 lbs. three years ago. The reason I bring this up is, today my wife and I had a few things to pick up and Walmart is near her work. We decided to have lunch at the McDonald’s located inside our Bozeman Walmart. As you can imagine it’s been a while since I’ve blocked out the sun at a local McDonald’s so this was a visit to my not to distant past.

New Nutrition Laws

Since I last visited a McDonald’s some new laws have taken effect. Thanks in part to Michelle Obama’s obesity campaign all the McDonald’s menu items have calories listed next to each item and the full menu on the placemat on the trays. I certainly appreciate the first lady’s work to reduce the size of the American population although I have my doubts that she spends much time tending the White House garden. I’m convinced that duty is for Secret Service officers who’ve dropped the ball at some point in their fledgling careers.

The listing of the calorie counts gave me pause as I mentally added up my former selections that piled on so many pounds. My former favorite, the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese weighed in at a hefty 750 calories. Add the Super Size Fries for another 500 and the Diet Coke to save calories at 0 and the final tally is 1,300 calories. It sounds worse spelled out. One thousand, three hundred calories — good thing I went with the unleaded Coke. That’s about half the entire daily intake for a normal active human being.

Calories In; Calories Out

Last Sunday I was parked in front of the big screen for Super Bowl XLVII watching lots of calorie laden commercials. Doritos, beer, and that creepy Jared guy from Subway. Subway is the only fast food chain that seems to be carving out the healthy eating, weight loss segment of our expanding populous. Although, they did get caught recently shortchanging customers on the length of their famous five dollar foot long sandwiches. I have not eaten in Subway that much because there is just too much pressure to decide that quickly on how much meat, cheese, dressing, kind of bread, etc. At McDonald’s it was just a #4 and a Diet Coke. It was simple, easy and fattening.

I’m not exactly sure how a Subway foot long sandwich is healthy and low in calorie so I went to their web site. The lowest calorie sandwich I could find is the 6” BLT at 320 calories that, by advanced calculus, would make the foot long an appetite satisfying 640. I’m guessing Jared jettisoned the bun when no one was looking.

Some Final Thoughts

Being overweight is not fun, or healthy. High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes have all been linked to weight. Thankfully, at least so far, I’ve dodged all three. So kudos to whoever decided to put the calorie counts on fast food menus. At least it gives you pause to rethink your choices logically rather than emotionally.

What did I order you ask? I got the world famous Filet of Fish sandwich at a comfortable 330 calories and a black coffee. Some fruit at home later would fill the bill calorie and health wise. The wife put 350 calories on her five foot, 100 lb. frame with the Snack Wrap Chicken Ranch Crispy. Did having the calorie counts listed with the menu items have a effect on our decision. In my case I would have to say yes. How about you? Are you watching the menus that list calorie count more closely? Comment below.

Tom Egelhoff is an Amazon best selling author of three business books. His 400+ page web site www.smalltownmarketing.com is one of the oldest continuous sites on the Internet. He has been featured on MSNBC’s “Your Business” and quoted in business publications in China, Turkey, India and the UK. He hosts “Open for Business” each week, 11-2 PM Mountain Time on http://kmmsam.com

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